Mike and Trina aren’t odd in their addiction to coffee. While he likes a “saturated” blend a bit “on the cold side,” she likes her espresso blend “warm and thicker.” But these folks don’t drink their coffee — they take it in an enema.
The St. Petersburg, Florida couple will appear on TLC’s My Strange Addiction next week with a confession: They are addicted to coffee enemas, inserting coffee into their colons around 100 times a month. At one point, Trina admits to doing the enemas 10 times in a 24 hours period.
While the couple refuses to drink the caffeinated beverage, saying its bad for their health, they have each had around 6,000 coffee enemas since their addiction started two years ago.
It all began when Trina started researching ways to get rid of her digestive issues. “I started the whole debacle,” Trina said.
“Then it took on a life of its own. I twice tried to stop and felt worse, so I do this every day and as much as I can. But it’s very time-consuming.”
“I love the way it makes me feel,” said Trina of the enemas, which the couple self-administer at least four times a day. “It gives me a sense of euphoria.”
While husband Mike, 45, initially thought, “How disgusting,” he tried it, “and now I am addicted.”
Trina began researching solutions to her stomach problems when she found the enema practice online.
“I had a lot of stomach problems, digestive problems with my kidney and my liver,” she said. “I started research and it led into coffee enemas and I really started to feel the benefit. I felt like I was living for the first time in years.”
Now, “living for the first time” includes never leaving the house for long periods of time, since the enema preparation and administration takes up to five hours a day. Luckily, Trina and Mike work from home.
Trina says that the enemas help with her health and that, when she tried to stop recently, she ended up in the emergency room with kidney stones. That emergency room visit was the first trip she has taken to a doctor since beginning the enemas two years ago.
While the couple’s family is worried about their health, they refuse to quit their habit.
“Not a chance,” said Mike of quitting.
“We can’t live without them,” echoed Trina.
Coffee enemas, also known as Gerson therapy, have no medical studies to back their claims of health benefits. The coffee is poured into a 32-ounce bucket, then administered directly to the colon by a Vaseline-coated tube. The couple administer their enemas on the bathroom floor and catch up on reading, watching TV, or checking email until the timer goes off.
Then, says Mike, it’s a quick transition from lying down on the bathroom floor to the toilet: “When the timer goes off, yeah, you want to make just a quick transition from floor to toilet seat as quickly as possible. It’s going to come flying out of there like a torrent.”
Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa spoke with ABC News about the couple’s strange addiction. The assistant professor of medicine and a gastroenterologist at NYU Medical Center said she would “never recommend coffee enemas.”
“The bottom line is there is not any beneficial effect and there is some risk associated with any enema and, in particular, using coffee,” said Rajapaksa.
Enemas in general should only be used when prescribed by a doctor. Any liquid used as enema would have the same effect, she said, causing the person to defecate.
“Whenever you are inserting something into the rectum there is a danger of causing a tear in the lining,” she said. “Over using enemas can sometimes lead to dehydration and it can basically lead to a decrease in bowel function.”
While Mike has reportedly been doing the enemas less — just for “maintenance” — he said he is tolerant of his wife’s addiction, he said, “because I love her.”
This season, TLC’s My Strange Addiction will cover a woman who is addicted to cat hair — grooming her cat with her own tongue — and a woman who is addicted to drinking blood.
Do you think that Mike should intervene with his wife’s addiction or that the couple should see a doctor?